the Luminary

I… I don't know! way to put me on the spot!

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Re: the Luminary

Post by Kimra »

When they were alone again Daniel’s shoulders slumped. “This is going to sound so stupid.” He warned.

“I have spent the last six months learning how to kill vampires from an underground organisation that trains people who they suspect have a certain afinity for the work.” She made it clear with her tone that pretty much anything said at any time in those last six months had sounded insane and stupid, but she was coping so far. She wondered how much worse it could get that he looked so unsure of how to tell her.

“You’re children.” He seemed to be correcting her. She waited for more, but he was looking at her, earnest.

Confused panic began to rise. “What?” She begged, turning over explenations and trying to understand but it made no sense. She didn’t have children, she- “What?” She demanded a little harder because a headache was building.

“The kindred,” he began carefully, keeping eye contact, “they’re yours.”

“My children?” She repeated for clarty. Daniel winced slightly.

“Not- no.” He shook his head. “That was a bad place to start.” She waited, wide eye’d, somewhere in here he was going to make sense, she was sure of it, and she didn’t want to miss it. He made a vague hand gesture. He seemed to be struggling.

“Try again.” She suggested, “We can come back to… to me having children.” She hoped they wouldn’t. “What is the Luminary?”

“She is the Star that Fell.” His awe was clear, and it was directed piercingly at her. “She is our Goddess.”

She did not break eyecontact, looking for the joke or the hint that he wasn’t making sense anymore, he didn’t even flinch.

“Your Goddess?”

“The Vampires.” He clarrified. “It happened… too long ago for us to be sure when it happened, but it was before our records start and they are… extensive. She-you… You came from the sky, a burning light that drove back darkness. And our ancestors welcomed you. The Star that Fell became the touchstone of our people. She built the bridges between the clans, united us as a people.”

“And then she died.” Janice interupted, Gwen inhaled sharply in surprise, stopping herself from the automatic programing to attack. She hadn’t heard the three vampires aproach, but there were certainly three of them standing on the weir. Janice looked a little apologetic, the other two refused to make eye contact of any kind. “Of a cold, I believe.” Janice gave a shrug of her shoulders, as if the reason was unimportant.

“No-one remembers how she died.” Daniel corrected. “But she did die.” He pulled himself up off the seat, and Gwen stepped back from him, not sure if she was ready to be touched by anyone. The idea, the very concept that they thought she was some sort of ancient goddess made her feel small and pathetic and very very nervous. She couldn’t live up to those expectations. Clearly there had been some all mighty mix up.

Janice noticed Daniels effort and responded. “You okay?” She touched his forehead for temperature, and then pulled his shirt up to check his wound. He tollerated her actions by ignoring them, his attention still fixed on Gwen. His wound was narrow, but it was obviously deep from the amount of blood that continued to seep out of it. Gwen wondered how long he could go without treatment, and knew it probably wasn’t very long at all.

“You’re going to bleed to death if you sit around here chatting all day.” Janice flicked his shirt back down to cover the wound and turned an accusing glare towards Gwen. “We need to get moving.”

“It’s fine.” Daniel interjected.

“Fine is it?” Janice was still on edge from the fight, her movements sharp and jittery.

“Are there any others coming this way?” He disracted, smoothing his shirt down shakily.

Janice eyed the wound speculatively. “I don’t think so. The others took to the streets when the alarm sounded. A few were left behind.” She shrugged casually again. “No great losses that I noticed. It was still early so the young hadn’t shown up yet, which is lucky.”


“So you’re telling her then?” Janice cut her eyes to Gwen and Gwen found herself flinching away from the attention. When she noticed the other two men who’d arrived were almost looking at her she took another step back.

“When you’ve moved on.” Daniel instructed with a sigh. “There’s a lot to tell.” His shoulders slumped a bit. Janice considered him, glancing at the wound again and then turned to Gwen.

“It can wait.” She instructed. “He need’s treatment.”

“I’m a fucken goddess.” Gwen spat back unaware that she was shaking.

Janice only sneered, “And he’s my clan leader. Oh great goddess, do you want him to die?”

“Do you really think-“ Gwen snapped, “-that I’m some sort of goddess?”

Janice glared. “Not a good one, it seems.”

“This is crazy.” Gwen went to step back and Janice caught her arm. Behind her the weir dropped away. It wasn’t a great drop, but it would certainly do damage if she’d stepped over it. Gwen shook off Janices hold and stepped away from the edge, she wouldn’t back up again, not now the danger was apparent. Janice gave a huff, looked at Daniel who was drawn but unmoving then back to Gwen. “And yes.” She added grudgingly. “You are ‘some sort of goddess’. We can all tell just by being near you. Just as you regonise us for what we are. Some things can not be hidden once people are looking.”

Gwen wondered if it was true. Adam had told her they could tell the kindred that way, like a sense that reached out and they were aware of. But they had to look. She wondered if she’d been walking around in front of vampires for months and none of them had noticed. But she’d killed them all, so maybe they had noticed. Daniel had been the first and only to survive an encounter with her and, she realised, he had already known what she was.

“Is that why you let me live?” The question should have stayed secret, certainly not asked in front of these three other vampires who were waiting for some sign of what their next action should be. Gwen didn’t care about them because she was lossing herself to a feeling too powerful to name, it reeked of disillusionment but peppered in where spikes of horrified surrender. “Is that why you slept with me?” It woke the knowledge that she had always had that no man would bother with her unless there was something in it for him. “You just wanted to screw your goddess.” She hissed, defensive now that the idea was in place. It didn’t even matter that they were wrong, all that mattered was that it was the most logical reason for him ever looking at her.

Daniel shook his head, pleading eyes trying to catch hers, moving towards her. Her hand rose between them a clear sign for him to stop and he did, but he was unhappy with the comand. She watched his fists clench and release. She watched it dispassionately, because if passion became part of this she would feel betrayed and used and what pleasure she had had in their encounteres would be ripped away and turned into something different, something tainted and ugly and very very angry.

“Gwen, I let you live because of what you are, I slept with you because of who you are.”

“You didn’t even know me.” She spat. “I didn’t know you.” She frowned with a new thought. “You had better not have known me.” All she needed was some crazy stalker vampire to make her life complete.

He laughed, tense still but it was real amusement.”No. I saw you with Cassie, that was the first time. I promise.” He held up a hand to stall her response, “and I didn’t plan on taking you to bed, but I can’t say I regret it.” Now he looked at their company. “You three should move on. We’ll be fine.”

The two male vampires seemed all to glad to be moving on, and they would have if Janice had moved even slightly at Daniels comand. Janice was watching Gwen though, a frown etched across her face.

Gwen checked Daniels drawn expression and could tell he was in pain. A tinge of guilt shot through her, knowing he was tollerating it for her. It also made her feel better, but she supposed he didn’t have a choice if he really thought she was some sort of goddess.

“No.” She snapped. “We’ll go with you.” She went to leave aiming in the general direction they had been heading. It didn’t matter that she didn't know the way, he needed assistance and she needed to move.

“Gwen.” Daniel sounded angry now, and she was surprised still when he caught a hold of her. “Wait.” She stopped moving and turned her glare on him. He wasn’t even looking at her, he was glaring in turn at the three vampires who’d interupted them. “You three can go.” His order was clearer this time, his voice hard with warning. Janice did not move, the other two did moving quickly past Daniel and Gwen. Janice only glared back at him.

“This isn’t-“

“This is not a request Janice.”

“I’m entitled to ignore you if you are being ridiculous!” She snapped back.

“Go on already.” Gwen growled and she tried to get her arm back so Daniel caught her hand, lacing his fingers into her own. The action pulled at her comfortingly, she wished it hadn’t and felt a little angier for it all over again.

“I’ve had worse.” He growled into the room, his voice echoing off old pipes and cobblestones. “Now get out of my sight.” He ordered Janice. She hesitated again, Gwen chanced a look at the woman, Janice was upright and drawn, it was clear she did not want to obey the command, but instinctively she was also concious of her need to obey it. “Janice!” He barked and the woman shuddered and slumped.

“Don’t you dare let him die.” She hissed as she made her exit, not looking back.

Gwen dismissed Janice the moment she was gone and turned to deal with Daniel, clearly he needed some sort of attention, Janice didn’t seem the sort to worry unduely. Glancing at the spot he had been sitting at before Gwen noticed there was too much blood for anyone to be okay. Her anger banked in the face of concern, again.

“You really need to get that looked at.” She informed listlessly.

“Not as much as we need to deal with this. I’ve got a few hours before it starts being a problem.”

“Will blood help?” She cringed at the idea of him biting her, although she hadn’t felt it any other time the idea of anything cutting into her made her flinch. It was a natural reaction, and she was fine with keeping it that way.

His quirk of a smile flicked into place again. “You’re offering?”

“Will it help?” She reiterated forcefully not up for dealing with his charm.

His smile folded. “It would yes, but it’s not magic, even it has it’s limits.”

She freed her hand from his, and held it out to him. He looked at the upturned wrist critically, then at her, then the wrist again, as if debating his next action.

“Really?” He checked, taking a gentle hold on the profered wrist and stroking it gently. She didn’t reply before he’d tugged her closer, his body closing around hers and his mouth and teeth falling to her neck.

She stifled the gasp when he broke the skin there, freezing the hands that wanted to push him away, and she let him take what he needed. It was strange and not exactly the sensual experience she had heard people talk about, but there was a thrill in her for trusting her life to him. A knowledge that he could break her so very easily while she was so vunerable. She would never tell him that, never give away that little secret, but she would let him do this again if it was what he needed.

When he pulled away he didn’t let her go, only pulled back so that he could see her face more clearly. He ran his tongue over his teeth thoughtfully.

“There,” he spoke with a whipsered voice, low again, but there was no shake to it anymore, “all better.” Then his endearing smile quirked into place, as if everything between them was fine, she felt almost rude to tell him otherwise, but she seemed only to have more questions than she’d had before.

“I’m a goddess?” She checked, her hands braced on his waist and he hummed an affirmation running a finger down her brow and behind her ear thoughtfully.

“The reincarnation of the Luminary. Our shining light. The Star that Fell.”

“Am I a star?” She checked, a little confused because she knew for a fact that stars were not people.

“Who knows?” He laughed breathless and pleased. “You might as well be, Gwen.”

“And…” there as that thought again, awkward and impossible, “I have children?”

He let her go, looking contrite. “Not children.” He struggled, trying to get a word out of his brain that seemed entierly stuck there. She let him struggle, she let him pace away from her, it was easier without contact anyway. “Blood lines.” He decided eventually, seeing her confusion he pushed on. “Sometimes you have children,” he saw her confision “in other lives.” he hurried to add. “The kindred are you’re blood lines, your decendents. I mean, decendents from some of your previous lives.”

“Then why are they killing you?” Because surely if she was some vampire goddess she wouldn’t send her children off to kill them.

Daniel sat down by the wall and motioned her to do the same, she did with only the slightest hesitation. It was not the best place to stop for a chat, it was neither clean nor secret, but she was sick of running and it seemed like the first, maybe the only, time that anyone would tell her what she wanted to know.

She tried to wrap her head around being related to all the kindred. The fighters who had just attacked them, wrapped in black and unassailably focused, she couldn’t marry herself to them, but the recruits… The recruits she had sat beside for six months as they’d learnt faster and better than she had. The recruits whose lives she had learnt about over time, and whose welfare she cared about. She could believe they were related to her in some way, even if she had trouble believing she’d ever had children, even a past incarnation of her.

“They kill for the same reason you do. Because the guardians tell them to.”

“What are they?” Gwen was glad she was sitting, her legs felt weak and wobbley and it wasn’t just a result of the blood she’d given him so recently.

“The guardians?” Daniel considered, “They- It's a game.” He began, sounding a little surer. “The guardians are the strongest link between humans and the spirits. And by spirits I suppose I mean the occult, the mythical, the magical.” He wasn’t thrilled with the use of any of those words but pushed on. “They are the strongest human link to our world. And they have been for-for longer than written history.”

“And they hate you. Vampires.”

“They see anyone who feeds on humans as an enemy. They wiped out a whole race of blood drinkers about a thousand years ago. Well, you did. Apparently you were spectacularily destructive that lifetime.”

“For them?”

“Yes. Because that’s their game. There are more of them, and they are better networked than the vampire clans. They have their kindred at beck and call and they have nothing hunting them down and killing them. It makes it easier for them to find you first.” He shrugged. “They find you, they lie to you and then they watch our god kill us off one by one. It’s all a game to them.”

“And what do you do with me?”

“Sometimes we kill you, because you belong to them too completely to ever turn you back. Sometimes we find you first. Sometimes you live a whole lifetime and no-one finds you. It’s those lives when you’re most likely to have children, though you’ve had them in other lives.”

“Why don’t you protect them?” She turned to him, earnest and curious. “The kindred. You could stop them from going to the guardians.”

“No.” He seemed only sad in his reply. “There are too many, and we can not- It would be too hard. And it has been tried before. And in the end they just aren’t valuable enough.”

“Because they’re not a goddess?”

“We kill her, Gwen, my father died killing the last incarnation of you. I should never have gone near you. I should have made my knowledge of you public and I probably should have died trying to kill you that night instead of- of what we did.” He grinned at the memory of it, but she was too overwhelmed to flush. Any other day and she would be bright red. “If I shouldn’t have risked that much for our goddess, why would we risk anything for the kindred?”

“They’re my family.” She wondered how true it was, how much she would protect them. She had family, she knew the limits she would do for them, but for these strangers who were family, she wondered just how far she could go.

“Not by blood. Not anymore. And we have enough to worry about.” He was starting to sound tired again, she put her hand to the wound cautiously.

“Do we need to go?” Gwen asked softly. She needed a break, she was sure it would all make sense tomorrow, or the day after. Definatly some time that wasn’t now.

“I’m just glad your Adam figured it out before the other guardians did. If they’d known they would never have let you leave their sight, and if you’d been uncooporative they would have locked you away to drag your life out as long as they could.”

“That’s why he’s doing this, isn’t it? Because he still wants me.”

“Probably. He knows that we’re lovers-“

“We are?”

“We better be.” Daniel hissed back. “Or you’ve been leading me on.”

She smiled at the pure possessiveness in his voice, glad to hear something that was for her, not some ancient goddes, but for her alone. “We are.” She felt kind of shy saying that, it was strange only because of their existing intimacy, but having it spelled out clearly made her flush with pleasure. Not even sitting in the bowels of a network of underground tunnels deminished the pleased feeling flushing through her.

“-and has gambled,” Daniel continued, “that I am your only tie to this world. He’s trying to cut you off from your life and from your connection here.”

“Then he shouldn’t have called me at my house and given the game away.” She hissed, anger coursing through her again at the memory of Stuart, and that anger was only added to when she remembered the fight they had left. To think that Adam had been trying to kill Daniel- to take away someone she was beginning to think of as irrelplaceable. To think that Adam had thought he could.

Rage coiled inside her, it pushed away the saddness that had been threatening ot take a hold of her. Sadness was for when there weren’t new threats and you only had to deal with what had already happened. But if he’d done it once, he’d keep doing it. How many kindred did Adam even have at his beck and call? And how dare he use them against her! Shane had been in that attack party, he’d been as at risk as the rest of them. She liked Shane.

It didn’t even matter if she believed any of it anymore. The fact that everyone else seemed to was all that mattered. They all thought she was some goddess from times past and if she was or not would change nothing. In the end it was all her fault, the Stuart had died because of her, all of Daniels clan had been attacked, and there was no doubt some had died. How dare anyone fight because of her when none of them had been willing to tell her what they thought she was in the first place.

The anger solidified into something cold and hard and she let it slide inside and take control. She’d been hunting before, this was going to be just like that.

[WC 47,163]
Bleeds from the eyes fingers and brain. Why you so hard to write you stupid scene?! I left crap out it was so hard to write. In that regard ask me anything htat hasn't been answered that you wanted to know, and I'll make a note for the next draft, because I don't even know what words are on that page. They are all just... erg. DEATH death is the only kindness.
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Re: the Luminary

Post by smiley_cow »

Suddenly a lot of Daniel's motivations earlier in the story make a lot more sense. I was thinking he's being nicer to Gwen that she deserves (she was murdering his own kind after all), but now it fits really well. Also there's more!? I need to know what the more is! We know who the guardians are, who the kindred are, who Gwen is, what else is there? Is it to do with Adam? Or is he just an SOB who happened to figure things out and use them to his own advantage? Is he a kindred too?
DonRetrasado wrote:Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Bitcoin.

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Re: the Luminary

Post by Kimra »

He's just a SOB. I wish I'd had more time to develop her absolute devotion to him at the beginning, it would make it more fun to rip it all apart at the end. But that's what next month is for.

Also on a random side note, I have passed 50k. I have technically won Nanowrimo. I must now finish these last... three scenes? Maybe even four. I'll post each scene as they are done though, because I'm nice like that. :P
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Re: the Luminary

Post by Kimra »

Daniel wouldn’t have wanted her to leave, so she hadn’t told him she was going anywhere. He’d kept talking once they started into the tunnels, taking turns at his instructions. Her blood had done him good, but he’d started bleeding again, and their time to sit around in tunnels talking had come to an end.

She’d been surprised when they showed up at his house, and that there had been several of his clan there. But she’d been glad when they’d taken him off her hands and she’d been able to sneak out the back. It was still early in the night, there was pleanty of darkness left to keep her company and conceal her actions.

She took her car, but pulled up a long distance from the Guardians building. She didn’t know what happened in the building after dark, she had no idea what would happen if she went in there now, but she was willing to find out. It was about time she made a few things known anyway. Adam had played with her life for too long.

She climbed the outside fence with ease, it was old sandstone and there were finger grips all over it. There were no sentry animals, but she notices there were guards at the fence, dressed in a security uniform and armed with a side arm. There had never been guards on the building before. She made sure she kept out of their sight anyway, moving through the bushes and the thicker trees until she reached the building. She froced a window open and climbed in through. The room she pushed her way into was much like Adams. The walls of books and the heavy oak desk. She wondered if all of the guardians had a room like this and moved on.

The hallway was empty, the cameras still working and monitoring the place with a predictable pattern. She didn’t even try and avoid them, she wasn’t stealthy and she would only waste time trying to use something she didn’t have. She moved instead with assured accuracy, working from the outside of the building inwards, trying to find the rooms she recognised so she could track down Adam.

She didn’t really know where to start, the first floor was clearly offices and training rooms, but she decided the best bet was going to be Adams study. She could work out from there.

Her attack clearly wasn’t planned, and she heard an alarm go off deeper in the building, a soft chirp noise that echoed on the higher floors but didn’t actually seem to wake anyone. Gwen frivilously waved at the next camera she saw, noticing they no longer swept the corridors, but focused on her as she moved. It was creepy knowing she was being watched, but in the guardians home she had always known she was being watched.

She came across their classroom unexpectedly. She’d come through the door the guardians used and seeing the whole room from the wrong angle confused her momentarily. She took a second to get her bareings, resting her hand against the teachers podium before deciding on the right path. His study was past the training room, at least this path she knew perfectly.

What she didn’t expect was to enter the training room and find it occupied. It shouldn’t have been occupied at that time of night, as far as she was aware everyone went home by 11pm, but she didn’t have time to care about it either.

Gwen came to a stand still in the doorway, the attention of a room full of recruits on her. She noticed Shane wasn’t amongst them, one of the girls was missing as well. It irked her to know that not that long ago they’d been attacking Daniels clan, maybe even dying in that fight.

“Gwen?” Telly was fending off the tall red head Riana. She was trying to land a blow, but his defence was solid and his understanding of the fundimental practie of their battle training made him almost perfect. But his attention shifted and Riana tried to strike another blow, he dodged to the side, watching Gwen with puzzled confussion.

“Have you seen Adam?” She asked pleasently. His eyes shifted, checking the guardians in the room in a suspicous move that told her Adam had his fingers in Telly as well. The boy was barely fourteen and he should not have been recruited for some damned personal vendetah. If he’d sent Telly into that battle tonight she would have drawn this out until there was nothing but deathly pleading from him. As it was she wanted him dead, and didn’t care about anything else.

“Where have you been?” Telly asked, Riana behind him looking over to her in surprise.

“Busy.” She replied, already moving for the exit that lead to Adams study. Some of the guardians had moved, one was blocking her way.

“Recruit Gwen, the guardians have placed the house underlock down. You will report immediately on your whereabouts in the last 24 hours.”

She stopped out of politeness, the hands he had raised as if to block her only holding her back because of those ingrained rules she could never shake way.

“You should see my house.” She informed him quickly, “Some kindred went in and slaughtered everyone. It was grand.” The sarcasm was thick, but her words confused him enough for his hands to lower. She went to move around him, he again tried to block. “Now I’m going to go kill him. I should have done it sooner, I refuse to wait longer to see what else he’ll try and do.”

“You are not making any sense, and there have been strict orders that should any missing Kindred appear-”

She was done. She wasn’t going to argue this with someone who didn’t seem to know anything about anything. She cracked a smile, it was a wicked smile and she was only too pleased with it. There were so few chances to be wicked in the average life. “Did you know,” She began, voice sugary sweat, “that I’m the Luminary? I suppose there’s only one of them.” She wasn’t sure on that either, but she liked the way her words made the guardian before her pale and flinch. She liked the way that when she showed him the blade she’d drawn before even entering the building his hands dropped and his eye widdened. “I’m going to go kill Adam. Now get out of my way or I’ll kill you too.”

He obeyed, faster than a rabbit he was out of the way, and although she left the room of recuites in an uproar she didn’t care. She moved through the corridors swiftly, making sure not to misstep in her haste.

Adams door was latched, she tried the handle and it opened.

“Don’t interupt-“ He snapped and those green eyes flashed up at her in reprimand. His expression stopped, any comment he was about to make fell away then he smiled. “What do I owe the pleasure?”

“I’m going to kill you.” She didn’t like being indirect and suspected any indirect aproach would just give him oportunity to wiggle out of the whole mess. She wasn’t going to give him any opportunities. He had had her friend killed, he had tried to kill her lover and he had manipulated her. All the guardians had, but today she only cared about him.

“Really?” He seemed amused by the very idea, and as if to show how unconcerned he was he walked over to his bar and poured a whisky. “That’s terrible, do try to be quiet about it.” He returned to his seat, drink in hand, and sat in the large leather chair behind the desk.

She moved closer, “You tried to kill me.” The accusaion made him shrug.

“I lost my head for a moment. You can’t blame me though, you weren’t being sensible.” He took a sip of the whisky.

“You killed my flatmates.” Because Stuart hadn’t deserved that she sounded angrier, she was angrier.

“This is a war Gwen, some people get caught up in the cross streams.” Nothing seemed to mater to him, not her threatening stance or the knife pointed and at the ready to fillet him. Maybe he didn’t think she would do it, she wondered why he would think that when she’d killed under his orders before.

“A war with who?” Because really she had never quite understood that part. She’d just trusted that he knew.

“With everything Gwen. With anything that will hurt us, and whatevers left afterwards.” He went to take another sip and paused, looking over the glass at her. “How did you get in here? The buildings in lock down. When you didn’t show they sent someone to your house. Apparently theres every chance the vampires know where we are located.”

“That wasn’t any vampire attack, surely they know that.”

“It’s amazing what you can sneak under the noses of the blind.” He controled the smile that wanted to creep across his face, but not well enough to hide the twitching of his lips.

She wasn’t sure what kept her from crossing across the room and ramming the blade deep into his throat where it would silence him forever, maybe she still hoped he could give her an explenatin, maybe she still hoped things could make sense again, whatever it was she didn’t seem to be able to cross the room and do what she’d come here for. “You could have just let me go.”

His expression turned nasty and he spat out his reply, “Did you’re fuck toy not explain it to you girl? There is no letting go, it’s all or nothing.”

“Then I guess you got nothing.”

“On the contrary, I got a lot, you’re just too stupid to realise what that is.” Here he laughed, but it wasn’t a nice sound like Daniels, it was a vicious degrading laugh aimed at her.

She decided it had dragged on long enough, her grip tightened on the handle of her blade and she approached, cautious of any tricks he might pull. She no longer trusted him as she used to. “You should never have killed my friend because you didn’t get your way one time.” She was a few steps from the desk when he lent back in his chair, casual and taunting, and revealed his weapon of choice.

He set the black cased gun on the table between them and in the face of it Gwen stopped. She wasn’t even sure what to make of such a modern weapon in the face of all the mystacism that she seemed to be burried under.

“Did you really think,” he still sounded angry, a hard grating to his tone that bit like nails into flesh, “I’d be dumb enough to let you walk in here? Did you really think you could barge in here and kill me?” He scoffed at the thought, the gun at his fingertips and his eyes fixed on her every movement. “Such an arrogant little girl, you can’t get away with everything.”

She flinched forward and the gun was between them in a split second. She did not push further. She didn’t know anything about guns, probably because there was little to know. They worked, they took, but they didn’t give back. Guns were also a fairly ineffectual weapon against the vampires, the small wounds that they created often healed before much blood could be lost. She stared at it trying to decide how to respond. Bored he motioned her into one of his guests seats, the weapon loosely dangling from his fingers. She did not take that to mean he was unaware, he’d proved he was already.

"I should kill you. Of course I should." He took a sip of his drink, set the gun down on the flat desk surface, out of her reach and still cocked at the ready. She didn't know how to shoot a gun, how to even aim it. This close she doubted aim was a major problem, getting it would be the greater challenge and he knew it. "But I don't want to." He sounded disapointed with himself on that front. "Fucking a vampire." He sneered. "What kind of whore lets one of those things that close? And lets him drink off you no less!" Adam motioned to her neck, but she was sure there was no mark, he never left marks. "I knew you were lonley, but really?" His sneer was constant. "I would have done it to, if I'd know all you needed to be convinced of anything was a a solid ramming."

She went to retaliate, he reached for the gun again, she stopped herself short. She did glare though, disgusted with the man before her. To think he’d hidden this bile for so long.

"Don't give me that look, I've been working on you for six months, and it took him less than one to have you scapping at his heals. Like a little bitch in heat questioning everything you know to be right."

"This isn’t right. None of this is.” She wanted to move, to shift and attack but she didn’t think she could. The gun was so close but it was such a big risk. She decided she needed a distraction, she would take just about anything.

“So you believe him do you? You suddenly know who’s wrong or right, who’s lying and who isn’t? What a great little goddess you are.”

“You should have told me when I asked. You should never have lied to me. I would have believed anything you said!”

“Did he even tell you what their goddess does? Nothing!” He snapped back, leaning forwards in his anger, like he wanted to jump at her and attack himself. “You don’t do anything. You’re the most effective killing machine and what do you do with it all? You sit around playing house with vampires. Disgusting. Pathetic.” He spat. “The Luminary is useless in the hands of the vampires, they do nothing with you.”

“But you would?” She felt sick just thinking about it, what this man would do if he could get away with it. She felt the heavy weight of the blade in her hand, he hadn’t even told her to put it away, the arrogant idiot, she was going to slice him into little pieces when she got close enough.

Someone pounded on the door. She struck out faster than a snake. His eyes were on the door, she was across the table. Her blade missed when he ducked, more instincts than she would have ever expected of him; the gun went off.

She felt something hit her, seering pain blossoming through her right hip. The gun was knocked to the floor in a tangle of limbs as she grappled for an opening to run him through. He shoved her off, she’d never been this close to him but he was bigger than her and he had more muscles than he had a right too. She tried to find the gun, he didn’t stop for anything, sprinting across the room for the exit.

“She’s gone crazy!” He shouted as he swung the door open. She found the gun near her left foot and grabbed it up. She tried to aim, but the bullet hit well off target. She tried again and the bullet went through the bookshelves to the doors left, off target still. She went for a third shot but Adam had pushed out past the two ruffled guardians. “Kill her!” he ordered and Gwen disregarded the gun. It was useless to her and she had more effective ways to kill. She repositioned her blade and moved.

She went at the two men in the door with ferocity, slicing an elbow and a cheek bone in two fluit movements. Both reacted in shock, crying out and grabbing at the wounds to craddle them. She moved on, she didn’t even care about them.

In the hall she could hear Adam shouting, making himself all too easy a target. It was towards the taining room, she had no doubt he wanted an audience, and some back up.

She wondered if she could take out the kindred if it came to it. She didn’t think she could hurt the recruits, not after everything they had been through, she didn’t consider them family but they were friends.

With that relisation came a stronger resolve, the guardians might be dangerous, but Adam was worse. The greater of two evils had to be chosen and she had her sights set clearly. If anyone got in her way she would just have to deal with it. Hurt whoever it was or kill them as well. If it was one of the recruits, even then she would have to do it. It’s not like they were actually her children.

Gwen continued the chase not bothereing to listen because she knew the destination. Guardans around the building were moving, the alarm was louder now, but still not audiable on the level she was on. She considered that a blessing, it meant they hadn’t wanted to tip her off, if they had Adam would have been ready for her.

He was waiting for her in the training room, as she suspected he would be. The recruits had scattered away from him, and she could see why. He’d drawn a weapon from the walls, a bladed staff that looked small in his hands though she never really considered him a large man. She twisted the handle of her own blade to assure herself it was still there. The staff he held sported a bigger blade, but she doubted he was as good at using it as she was her own weapon. She hoped, at least, that he hadn’t had much practice with the weapon, but he held it properly.

“What do you think you’re going to achieve here, Gwen? Some sort of vindication for all the wrongs you commited? Because you did it, and nothing you say will ever take that back. Your just a heartless killer.”

“You let them die.” She motioned to the recruits who didn’t seem to know what to do. Beyond them the guardians were just as unsure, though she noticed the numbers of them had increased. It was no longer just the physical instructors in the room, there were some of the older teachers as well. She knew the more of them there were the harder it would be for her to get out of there, but the teachers weren’t really going to stop her in a fight.

“They were always going to die. The life expecetency for the late recruits is a year, at best. That’s an average,” He added with a brisk smile, “half of them die in the first month.”

“Adam.” A voice commanded from the side of the room. Gwen flicked her glance to the elderly man. He wore his robes neatly, and Gwen could vaguely place him from other times. Adam’s expression smoothed out. “What is happening here?”

“She’s gone crazy. She’s trying to kill me.” He lowered his weapon marginally, catching the eye of the guardian he was addressing.

Gwen took that as an opening. She hadn’t stayed alive in the last six months by sitting idely when opportunity presented itself, and a distracted target was an easier target. She propelled herself across the room at him, saw people move to stop her, saw guardians doing the same. The recruits too. But she was faster than them. If the distance had been shorter the fight would have been over in second, but he caught sight of her movement as everyone else did and managed to raise the pole arm to block her slash.

Her blade hit the wood and the impact vibrated up her arm. She grit her teeth and pushed harder. They ended on the ground. Adam used the weapon to push her off, throwing her over his head in an atheltic feat she wanted to stab him all over again for managing. She hadn’t managed to do that when she’d tried, it was annoying.

Apparently he had some training after all. Maybe they all did.

She twisted on her ankle when she landed, it twinged by obeyed the command to move. When she turned Adam was facing her, half raised from the ground. She grinned, he might have moves on her, he might even have a level of male strength she wasn’t used to fighting, but he was not as fast as her, and he was not going to win.

Someone bowled her over, body slamming agianst her. She hit the ground with her left shoulder, the body above her crushing her into the exercise mats. She flicked her blade into position and twisted it around to strike, the recognition of the face above her gave her pause, the weapon poised at the persons waist ready to drive in, but the force gone. Telly looked down at the weapon with wide shocked eyes.

She moved below him, pushed him to the side and twisted to her feat again. He seemed frozen in shock, she checked before turning her back on him. It didn't’ look like he was going to do that again, but she couldn’t be entierly sure, but nor could she take her eyes of Adam.

He’d moved back again while she was occupied, a few guardians at her back looking menicing with their own weapons. She pulled one of her wrist knives out, and set it in her spare hand. At least two blades, even if the second was short, would mean she could hit more targets.

She made sure to check each of the guardians behind Adams faces, she would be sure to remember them if she had to.

“Come at me then Gwen, lets see how good you are.” Adam goaded, the staff weapon still in his grip, and his grip tight. The edges of his eyes strained. She was only too happy to oblige, even if she knew she could finish him easily enough by just telling the other guardians in the room. She didn’t trust them or their justice, she trusted none of them anymore. It surprised her she had ever taken their word at anything.

“Have you told your little buddies I’m the Luminary, or did you keep that all to yourself?” Gwen stalked forward, a little to the left to try and keep them off balance. Her words did much more for that, but his guardian buddies stayed firm. “It’s always nice,” she hissed low, “to have your own little killing machine.” She didn’t go straight for Adam, that was too obvious, she took the furthest guardian on his right. She struck in hard and fast, past his defensive stance. He managed a strike to her face in retaliation for the blade in his gut. She cut his arm in a downwards sweep with her little knife. Adams friends moved to catch her. She ducked under the first attack, even as the wounded guardian fell.

“Idiot!” Adam admonished, and she realised he wasn’t in the thick of it. She sliced someones calf and caught a blow between her shoulder blades. Something cut the side of her head, she kicked the next mans ankle and heard it break. “The things I could have done with you.”

In the melee of limbs she sliced upwards and pushed her body up behind it. Someone tried to grab her hair, it was loose and flying, but she was moving quickly. She followed the blade across someones chest until momentum stopped and she tugged it out.

She slipped through a gap, someone snared her shirt and she twisted back and the flash of metal had them release her. She backed away from the gathering, assessing who was down and who was up. Adam, snidely, was standing behind them, looking superior and, curse him, amused. She swapped the blades in her hands, pulled back and threw the little wrist knife at him. He saw the attack and tried to dodge, it sliced into his shoulder anyway.

He straightened, any expression besides pure anger gone from his face. “Do you really want this, Gwen?” He demanded, yanking the little knife out of his shoulder. The blood seeped out in a way that pleased Gwen. She had never been happier to see blood. “They’ll kill us all!” He anunciated harshly. “Not just the vampires, all of them. They don’t belong in this world anymore, it’s a world of humans and for it to continue to survive they have to be killed.”

His minions were reorianted. One of them was down, a recruit had scrambled over to him and was holding their robe to his chest. She noted from the amount of blood that he would probably be dead before the fight was over. She noted that she didn’t care, but that had always been expected.

“All of them?” She demanded right back at him. She pulled her second wrist knife out, but with his eyes focused purely on her, that rage twisting his face into something that suited what she now knew of him, there was no chance of making contact. She positioned it in her left hand in preperation for the three of his friends who seemed ready, but not willing to attack again.

They waited for a comand, she was willing to let them wait. She didn’t even care about killing them, if she could get a hit in on Adam, that would be enough.

“They’re all monsters, the guardians know it, they’ve known it for years, but they don’t have the balls to step forward and do something about it. They are too busy cutting deals with the monsters of the occult and forging peace between them.” There was pleading in his eyes as well, something a little surprising and she recalled him saying he didn’t want to kill her. She wondered what kind of insanity led him to believe he even had a chance to control her after everything had been said and done.

“The vampires are our enemy, but only because they were our first target. We should always have moved on when they started to weaken. Instead we hunt them into corners where they huddle, and we ignore the bigger problems.” He scoffed. “When is the last time a vampire killed a person intentionally?” the room remained quiet, fixated on him. “They hardly ever do. They take, but they don’t kill. We won that war centuries ago.” He waved negligently. “The relics of the vampire name no longer hold a candle to the monsters of legend. Monsters you” he pointed at her with the blade, “made into legends.

“And now” she retorted “you wont even be able to kill those relics. Because you hid me from the guardians, and you lied to me. You really are a moron.”

“They weren’t even looking for you!” He took the whole room in with a single sweep of his head. “Late recruites are considered a waste of time at the best of times. Cannon fodder.” He laughed. “They didn’t even think any of you could be worth more than that. I was willing to give you something wrothwhile. Something that you could have achieved. Something they would have always remembered you for.”

“Do you think I care?” She stepped closer, testing his attention, he did not seem to notice his focus on what he was saying so very absolute. His friends noticed though, they tensed, their weapons, also from the walls of the room, at the ready. “I want to go home and lie down and sleep. I want to pretend none of this is happening, but you wont let me. You should have let me.”

One of the recruits, maybe more than one said something. The guardians were talking too. There was shouting, and she didn’t care. She didn’t have the focus to spare on any words, shouted at her or not. Only on her goal.

She broke the stalemate and charged again. He tried to deflect, swinging the larger weapon at her. She had to avoid it, there was no blocking such a large weapon with what she had.

“I’ll kill you if I have to, Gwen.” He warned.

“Give it your best shot.” She moved just as someone tried to grab at her. She didn’t even know who it was, but she slipped out from their attempt easily. He tried to force her back again, he wasn’t a master of the weapon, but he was good enough to hold her off. They were moving in circles. She assesed, no-one was close enough, she needed to end it and the room was becoming more and more unsettled. She was one person against a room, if she didn’t at least kill this bastard she would regret it.

She flipped both blades, holding onto the hard metal with delicate fingers; threw the smallest first, aiming for his head. And without a pause threw the second aiming for his gut. Both flew acureatly, he manuvered to avoid the first, the second sliced into the flesh of his upper thigh. He stumbled, and she followed the blades trejectory. Unarmed she attacked, he tried to block her, tilted towards his leg, a curse on his lips, the blade sticking out of his limb.

She caught hold of the pole, solidified her weight and counterbalanced when he tried to knock her over. She braced herself, her hands latched onto the weapon and twisted it in his hold. He tried to overpower her attempts, her muscles strained with the effort. She’d arm wrestled before, this was something incredibly like that, and like those times she was not going to back down just because she could feel the burn in her muscles.

She strained, locked and unyeilding until he gave. It was the smallest give, but she twisted harder when she felt the slack. His arms began to fold over themselves, he was forced to drop the weapon of injur himself. The second his hands released she swung it fast out of his way.

He reached for the blade in his thigh, she advanced faster pushing him over with the strength of her lunge. She landed on him, his back hit he soft cushioning of the exercise mats. It might have been soft but the wind was knocked from him. She latched onto his throat with fingers like talons and clung. It wasn’t about a painful death, nothing slow and tedious. She wanted him dead.

Someone tried to pull her off, she clamped her legs around his waist, tightening. He tried to push her off, scratching at her face and arms. She pressed down harder, pushing against the windpipe, unrelenting and furious. His colour began to pale, slightly blue, she felt when the windpipe collapsed under the pressure and she let herself be pulled back.

Her eyes never left Adam as he tried to draw in morsels of air. She watched his body seize up, watched as the last reminants of life broke out of him and vanished. It didn’t make her life better, it didn’t solve all of the problems in the world, but for one fleeting moment she felt control over it all once again. It was a shame she didn’t get to appreciate it long before she was jostled again.

She flicked her eyes to the people holding her, one on the left, one on the right. Both of them were recruits. From her class even. Tension eased out of her for a moment. The guardians, it seemed, were not willing to approach her. She could see it clearly as she took in the rest of the room. People had been watching, the recruits had been watching, and so had many more guardians than she remembered.

“Let me go.” She told the two recruits, Riana and John. They did it automatically, which she was glad of. She had no weapons, but she was not helpless. Maybe Adams body was proof enough of that for the people in this room.

“What the hell just happened?” John asked very quietly in her ear.

“I just killed a monster.” She felt the smile as it twitched into place and she let it bloom what did it matter if she was happy about killing. It didn’t matter if she knew she shouldn't be, nothing much mattered.

[WC 52,580]
I... it will be over soon. Also Adam is a dick. What the hell was with having a pole arm? What a dumb ass weapon to pull out of nowhere. I'm sorry it's all so just 'and then he was dead' but I'm tired. I'm so very tired.

Also I decided to cut the scene. Because I wanted to post it and then I could start the next bit like it's a new scene. All magical and like.

Also I'm pretty sure she lost her weapons in the previous scene at the club. But I don't care! Lets all just pretend she had spares when she dropped Daniel off at his house.
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Re: the Luminary

Post by Kimra »

The room had started to settle. Adam was unquestionably dead, they’d gone to take his body away and she’d pulled herself out of the restraining hands to make her opnion on that know. She didn’t know what was available to the guardians when someone died, but she didn’t think she wanted to let them secret Adams body away while it was still fresh. In fact she wondered if she should cut him up the way he’d trained her to do to vampires. It was quite possible that had more to do with the guardians own practices than the vampires.

Then again, he seemed quite dead and as the minutes ticked by, the room falling into confused silence and no-body being entirely sure what to do Gwen decided she was comfortable enough with how dead he was. If the guardians had the ability to bring the dead back there would have been dead people walking around the complex.

The guardians, muling about, watching her with shifting eyes did not seem to know what to do, they treated the guardians she had injured, but otherwise kept a wide distance around her. The recruits who had pulled her back also seemed lost. Unsurprising since they had been trained to take their prompts from the guardians.

Gwen was just deciding it was time she did something when a very large man walked into the room. He was in full guardian atire, grayed hair on his temple but not old and folded like some of the guardians. He walked with purposeful strides across the room and stopped somewhere between her and Adams body. She knew he was important though, because tension in the lingeirng guardians seemed to ease. Old men and young dressed for bed and training defered to this mans presence.

He glanced over the situation then pinned the injured guardians with a frown. “Those men, take them down for questioning.”

It was an immediate response, suddenly the group had a task and they were eager to obey. The injured men didn’t even protest as they were hauled up by the companions. They looked drawn and worried, but they were dragged out of the room with no hassel. Gwen wondered with detachment what kind of torture the guardians would put them under. To know that someone in your own organisation had betrayed you, there would be repercusions for that.

He turned his attention to Adam’s body. “Keep him here. I’ll oversee the destruction of his body myself.” He turned his attention to her, a quick glance over his shoulder to catch her eye. “If that is acceptable?”

Surprised Gwen took a moment to realise he really was addressing her. She gave a curt nod, she doubted very much the guardians would be pleased with Adam, esepcially when they discovered how much he had been undermining them. He had gained control of other kindred, other guardians, even she wondered how far his influence had reached. She wondered how long it would take the guardians to sort out their organisation.

Seemingly content with that decission he turned himself towards her.

“She claims she’s the luminary.” A guardian informed, he wasn’t that far away, possibly one of the closest standing. He was also one of the door guards she’d cut into when leaving Adams office. His held a wad of cloth at his elbow. She imagined that it hurt quite a lot, but he held himself well considering the situaiton.

The man who seemed to be in charge, the head guardian she supposed, looked grave. “She is, don’t approach her.”

Any tension that had left the room returned. The recruits didn’t know what it meant, but the guardians did. Some stepped back from her, as if their distance would make the difference between her awareness of them. She didn’t look at any of them, only stayed aware of their movement. Instead her focus was on their leader.

“You’re the boss?”

“At this house.” He replied, calm and seemingly relaxed. Gwen wasn’t so calm still, but she felt less violent, which was good for everyone she supposed. “You’ve done quite some damage.” He observed thoughtfully.

“So have you.” She wondered if he would fight her now. He was not old, he was not enfebled and he had the tight muscles of a fighter. He wouldn't be as easy to kill as Adam, and she still had no weapons.

He seemed to consider something, looking her over carefully and then the rest of the room. She waited for him to decide what was about to happen, waited to tell him what she thought of it. “You have guests.” He decided on at last, looking less than trilled. “They are waiting for you.” He gestured to the exit with all the disregard of a teacher dismissing a child. She glanced out of habit, the large doors that led to the exit did not reveal what he meant. Something in his tone told her that he was unimpressed with her ‘guests’ and it gave her a little dash of hope for who was waiting. She squashed her desire to walk out of this room and squared her shoulders back.

“I’m not leaving.”

Her words had the desired effect, tangible uncertainty rolled around the room. The man she faced off though did not flinch, merely waited for her to clarify.

“I’m not leaving, not without the kindred.” It was a bold demand, she knew it wouldn’t be forfilled, but she was already neck deep in it it hardly semed like anything to demand. Hopefully she still had time before their Kindred did show up, time to make demands before someone eqipped to fight her arrived. There had to be real kindred around, Adam had gotten them from somewhere.

“That’s a tall demand.”

“They’re mine.” She anunciated clearly, because he would know what she meant, maybe all the guardians would. If she was some goddess she wasn’t leaving the people she considered friends behind, the people who she was responsible for. People she had created the bloodlines of.

“We keep a close eye on the bloodlines , and we've trained them to kill since they were born.” He responded, looking thoughtfully about the room. “You're class is the dregs.” He dismissed amiably. “The forgotten ilk of affairs of previous generations. You can have them. But the rest are already ours.”

Around her the recruits started to protest, confused and disoriantated.

“If they choose to leave, of course.” The guardian added thoughtfully.

She wondered if it was true, if the other kindred where so well controled that the family lines were monitored and the children taken too young to know they were being brainwashed. Even Adam had said something similar, not that his word counted for anything. Again she was pleased he was dead, she’d purge him from her memory soon.

For now she turned to face the recruits she knew, the ones she had struggled beside. The ones Adam hadn’t stolen from under her nose. She met each set of eyes, knew each name and history, knew about them.

She opened her mouth to explain it all too them, and then stumbled into silence, not sure how to explain any of it. Telly saved her, he walked across the room to her, looking every bit as certain as his fourteen years allowed.

“You’ll look after us, right?”

She found herself blinking, surprised by the sincere tone and the trust he was throwing out at her.

“She’s with the vampires though, keep that in mind.” The man cautioned.

“And they haven’t once told me I had to kill anyone.” She countered.

Telly looked cautious, uncertain. “Adam said they were lying-“

“And so was he. You don’t have to stay with me, but I am taking you all out of here now, and you can make your own decissions with all the information, not just the crap they’ve been forcing down our throats all this time.”

“You’re running out of time.” The guardian informed amiably. Gwen glared at him, wished she had a weapon and decided that that might tip the strange peace of the room. Killing their boss would put most the guardians against her even if she could hurt them.

She checked each of the recruits around her. Some of them looked uncertain, some of them trusting, some down right confused. She made sure she made eye contact, she made sure they all knew she was serious and then she turned to leave. She paused and checked the head guardian with a quirk of a smile. “I’ll come back for the others.” She informed.

He merely looked back. “And we'll be ready then.”

She left, letting those of them who chose to follow her.

She heard movement, she didn’t turn to check on it, but she knew someone, more than one peron, was following her. As long as the sounds of fights didn’t occure she was content to not look back.

Daniel was waiting at the gates, two uncertain guards watching cautiously from inside the fence. They didn’t know what they were facing, but when Gwen looked past Daniel at the rather large gathering of his clan she found herself smiling.

They were waiting for her she realised, they had all come to get her. It made her feel more than special, it made her feel amazing and cherished and she wasn’t even sure how to handle that level of pleasure.

“You came.” Her grin grew in the face of their company.

“You didn’t give me a choice.” He chastised. He was bandaged up now, but he hadn’t changed. He appeared to have come over the minute he’d realised she was missing.

“I had something to do.” She dismissed, stopping her momentum when she was before him.

“It’s done?” His arms were folded across his chest, restrained and still. She wondered how long he had been standing at the gate. They could have easily taken the whole house down. The recruits simply weren’t that good, and she knew it.

“Yeah, it’s done.” She felt easy contenment.

“And you’re friends?” He motioned behind her, and she forced herself not to look. She’d worry later about how many had come with her, about how many had placed blind faith in her.

“They’re my friends.” She replied back, as if that would explain everything.

“And your guardians are okay with this?” He doubted it, just as she did.

“They’re going to retrench, and regroup. I suspect next time they’ll be much more ready to kill me.”

“Nex time,” he ordered not casual at all anymore, “next time you’re going to tell me you’re going so I can follow. Yes?”

She nodded, then set caution to the wind and threw herself into him. He caught her up into an embrace, and this close she could feel the tremor of his body, not as calm as he appeared, not at all as casual.

“I was going to storm the gates soon.” He whispered to her.

“I was coming out.” She replied, clinging a little tighter. He was comforting and solid and he was safe now, safer than before. “I just needed to sever some ties.”

"So you're ours now?" Daniel checked pulling back and smiling.

"No. I'm mine." She wasn’t going to belong to anyone anymore, it was something she was determined of. If she was some goddess or not she was not going to belong to anyone.

"Just as good." He replied, leading her across the road to his car. She got in easily, an accidental glance at the gates as they left and she realised she hadn’t come out of there alone, not even close to it.

For the first time in a very long time she felt a lightness in her chest that wasn’t a fleeting forgetable pleasure, it was pure and strong and it would stay with her for a long time to come.


Final Word Count: 54,560

I don't even care that it sucked. I don't care that I introduced more information in the final scenes, I don't care about anything. I just care that it is done. And I am now going to go and celebrate in some sort of celebration like way.

I just won me a pen! :D
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Re: the Luminary

Post by smiley_cow »

DonRetrasado wrote:Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Bitcoin.

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Re: the Luminary

Post by carbonstealer »

You also won fireworks!

e: Also I have now finished your story and I was very entertained. I was certainly more motivated to read it than the last two Eragon books...I agree with smiley about the start of Daniel and hers relationship, there didn't seem to be any reason for them to come together at the start but now you know, it makes more sense. I would've liked to hear more of Adam's horrible plans but monologuing is so Sherlock Holmes
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